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In Basingstoke you'll find a rich heritage dating back to Roman times and beyond and also the best that a modern town has to offer. Basingstoke has many attractions for visitors, from pavement cafés and bistros to one of the south's best shopping centres, Festival Place.
The Anvil, with its excellent acoustics, is one of the region's leading music venues while Anvil Arts offers an exciting and varied programme of dance, theatre, opera, and comedy. Basingstoke also plays host to the annual kite and balloon festivals and the music festival Basingstoke Live.
Alongside the Leisure Park, with its ice skating, bowling, swimming complex and cinemas, you'll find the fascinating Milestones museum. Here you can walk through Victorian and 1930s streets, explore the shops, houses and workplaces of yesteryear and discover what everyday life was like for our ancestors.
Fabrics such as wool, silk and Burberry gabardine have played an important role in Basingtoke's development and at nearby Whitchurch Silk Mill, which produces high quality silk for costume dramas and stately homes, you can find out more about this fascinating tradition.
Surrounded by beautiful countryside, with accommodation to suit all budgets and with excellent transport links, Basingstoke also has many nearby attractions. Stratfield Saye House offers an intriguing insight into the life of the Great Duke of Wellington, whose family lived there from 1817, while novelist Jane Austen attended balls at Tudor mansion The Vyne, originally home to Henry VIII's Lord Chamberlain.
Basing House played a key role in the English Civil War while Highclere Castle on the Hampshire/Berkshire border houses an exhibition of ancient Egyptian treasures collected by the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, who discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun.
Basingstoke's Roman and Iron Age heritage can be seen at Calleva Atrebatum, Roman Silchester, with its well-preserved defensive walls.
Accommodation in Basingstoke
See an up-to-date listing of guest house and bed and breakfast accommodation and hotels in Basingstoke.
Shopping and eating out
Festival Place is Basingstoke’s lively shopping centre with an array of small shops, large arcades and tempting eateries. Here you’ll find over 30 restaurants, bars and cafes catering for a wide variety of tastes.
For fine dining and elegant afternoon teas, Basingstoke has some nearby prestigious country house hotels, including Tylney Hall, Audleys Wood and the Four Seasons.
The Basingstoke and Deane Food Trail, promoted by Hampshire Fare, highlights some of the fantastic local food produced in and around Basingstoke. It includes everything from award-winning sausages and pies, luxury Jersey milk ice cream and local ales, to organic fruits and vegetables, buffalo milk ice-cream and rare breed meat products. There are even some products made from a rare type of peppermint.
Buy some of these fantastic local products at farm shops in the area including the famous Laverstoke Park Farm run by Jody Shecktor, former F1 racing champion and Wellington Farm Shop, which is part of the Stratfield Saye Estate.
More local produce is available at Basingstoke Market, held every Wednesday and Saturday. Here you can find fruit and vegetables, meats, sweets, olives, cheeses, chutneys, fresh eggs and home-made bread and cakes.
In nearby Fleet and Farnborough you’ll find a selection of Nepalese restaurants, a reminder of the area’s long association with the Gurkhas of the British Army.
Arts and Theatres
There are several high quality arts venues in Basingstoke, catering for all appetites and tastes - from classical music and comedy to West End plays and modern dance.
The Leisure Park offers a wide range of activities including ice skating, bingo and bowls. It is home to a multiplex cinema, a bowling alley and one of the most exciting swimming facilities in the country.
Discover the thrill of skydiving at this new indoor skydiving centre in Basingstoke. Airkix is one of only three places in the country where you can try this unique activity.
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